Early History Munroe Falls


Adapted from "Fifty Years and Over Of Akron and Summit County" by Samuel A. Lane (1892)

Munroe Falls, located upon the Cuyahoga River, exists by reason of the considerable water power afforded by the fall in the stream there. Forty people first settled this southern portion of Stow Township in 1809. William Stow (a cousin of Joshua's), Francis Kelsey and several Gaylords were among them. The community was originally called Kelsey Mills, after Mr. Kelsey's sawmill.

Early History of Stow

Joshua Stow

Adapted from a letter by Frank A. Green of Stow written about 1950


The history of any town is the history of the people who have lived in it day after day from its beginning. What most of us do is commonplace and not worth recording. Most of us live selfishly for "me and my son John."

Pioneers: William Walker, Rachel Stewart, Joshua Stow, and William Wetmore

William Walker and his wife, Rachel Stewart, arrived in the Western Reserve in 1802 from Virginia. They were married on October 30, 1799. By 1802, the Walker family included a three-year-old and a baby. Together they waded across the Ohio River. They arrived in Stow in the late summer or early fall. William was a bear trapper. He was known as the first white settler in Stow Township. More...William Walker

Stow Township Firsts

  • SETTLERS: William Walker and family mistakenly built their cabin within the northern border of Stow Twp. in 1802. Judge William Wetmore and his family and several others settled legally in 1804.
  • HOUSE: William Wetmore's log cabin, at the center of the Township, near the present intersection of Graham and Darrow Roads.
  • BIRTHS among the white settlers: Betsey Walker, 1803. Mary Campbell, 1804.

Village of Silver Lake

The Village of Silver Lake began as a summer resort and amusement park that included an airport and racetrack. At the height of its success, the park had 10,000 visitors a day. The park was sold in 1917 and subdivided for residential building. The Village was incorporated in 1918.

Visit the Silver Lake website.

Pioneers: The Stow Family

 The William L. Stow and Family CD, available in our local history collection, contains images of a letter sent to William when he was living in Paris, Portage County, Ohio by his grandmother Anna J. Kelsey and his uncle Frank M. Kelsey in 1842. It also contains a tintype photo of William L. Stow's uncle, Albert, and aunt, Almira Stow. These pictures were taken in Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

 William L. Stow, also known as Lyman Stow, was born approximately May 21, 1821 or 1822. His parents were William Stow (VII) and Emily Kelsey. William (VII) was the son of William Stow (VI) and Margaret (Peggy) Gaylord. In 1809, William (VI) bought 300 acres from his cousin Joshua and settled on the south bank of the river at Munroe Falls. William and Peggy brought their six children, and had four more children after arriving. Albert Stow was born to William and Peggy July 5, 1810. He was the first of their children to be born here and the first white child born in Munroe Falls. William (VI) died in 1853, and Peggy died in 1864. Both are buried in Stow Cemetery.

 Emily Kelsey Stow, William L's mother, was born February 10, 1801. She died in November 1823 six weeks after giving birth to a son, Emelius. William L's father, William (VII), died March 5, 1828, at the age of 33. The boys, Lyman and Emelius, were raised by their maternal grandmother, Anna J. Kelsey of Laporte, Loraine County, Ohio.

 The letters to William L. express observations of daily life by grandmother, Anna Kelsey, and by uncle, Fred Kelsey.

 William L. was married to Lavinia. The picture on the right is taken in 1855 in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Lavinia is holding their son and oldest child Emulous. To learn more about the William L. Stow family, look under "Wm L. Stowe" and "William L. Stowe" in the Ancestry Library Edition.

 Albert and Almira Stow

Albert and Almira Stow


William Lyman Stow, Lavinia and Emulous 1855 

William L., Lavinia
and Emulous Stow